In an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, nascent Republican 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that his reputation as a “wild-eyed lunatic” is an invention of the liberal media, which is bent on smearing him through the use of “yellow journalism called PolitiFact.”
According to Mediaite, Harwood pressed Cruz, asking him why people should support him when the facts he uses to bolster his points don’t match up with the truth.
“You’ve said a few things that don’t necessarily comport with the facts,” said Harwood. He quoted a statement by Cruz asserting that there are “125,000 I.R.S. agents, [so] send ‘em to the border.”
“They’ve only got 25,000 agents,” Harwood said.
Furthermore, Cruz claimed that Obamacare would kill jobs, said Harwood. It hasn’t.
“Why shouldn’t somebody listen to you and say, ‘The guy’ll just say anything — doesn’t have to be true?'” Harwood asked.
“There is a game that is played by left-wing editorial writers,” Cruz said. “It’s this new species of yellow journalism called PolitiFact. Colloquially I was referring to all the employees as agents. That particular stat is in a joke I used. So, they’re literally fact-checking a joke. I say that explicitly tongue in cheek.”
Cruz appears to be confused. PolitiFact is a nonpartisan fact-checking agency that is an offshoot of the editorial board of the Tampa Bay Times. Cruz’s comments would lead one to believe that he thinks PolitiFact is a cross-publication wire service or a social medium like Twitter.
Cruz said, “There are 110,000 agents at the IRS. We need to put a padlock on that building and take every one of those 110,000 agents and put them on our southern border.”
In the interview with Harwood, Cruz insisted that this was a joke.
“Now look, I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek,” he said, “but think about it for a minute. Imagine you’ve traveled thousands of miles in the blinding sun, you’re dripping wet, you swim the Rio Grande and the first thing you see is 110,000 IRS agents? You’d turn around and go home too.”
According to Nguyen, even in jest, Cruz’s numbers are still wrong.
“Even if he defined ‘agents’ as ‘all employees of the IRS,’ the number is still off,” she said. “The IRS had roughly 90,000 employees as of 2013, and is actually facing a staffing shortage.”
Watch the video, embedded below:
China hits out at ‘bullying’ US over new tariffs
China on Saturday angrily hit out at the latest US tariff hikes on its goods, saying a "bullying" Washington would eventually "eat its own bitter fruit".
European leaders have also warned US President Donald Trump of the dangers of trade skirmishes with China and Europe, which look set to dominate the G7 summit due to begin in France.
Trump on Friday increased existing and planned tariffs on a total of $550 billion in Chinese goods, in response to new tit-for-tat levy hikes announced earlier that day by Beijing on $75 billion of US imports.
A Chinese commerce ministry spokesman on Saturday denounced Washington's "unilateral and bullying trade protectionism".
Mass rallies, crazy decisions, grandiose posturing: This is what living in a dictatorship feels like
Another week of shaking our heads and wondering how much longer we can survive him. Yet again, Donald Trump overwhelmed practically everything with the force of his obscene personality, running his mouth and his thumbs even while he was failing to run the country in any sort of conventional sense. He doesn’t actually do anything, but he dominates everything. Living in America today is like being trapped in a room with him — no doors, no windows, no exits, only Trump and the sound of Trump and the hideous image of Trump, all day, every day, for day after day after day.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Trump officials furious with NRA over ‘dick move’ leak of LaPierre phone call: report
President Donald Trump originally appeared interested in strengthening federal background check laws in the wake of deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Then, after a phone conversation with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre on Tuesday, Trump reportedly assured him that background checks were "off the table" and pivoted to discussing anything but guns.
It was a depressingly familiar moment for Trump, who also previously headfaked toward some minor gun control reforms after the Parkland school shooting and quickly walked them back.